Logility Beefs up Service Parts Management Offering

Rolls out improved forecasting techniques, reverse logistics planning capabilities

Rolls out improved forecasting techniques, reverse logistics planning capabilities

Atlanta  June 17, 2004  Supply chain solution provider Logility has beefed up the capabilities in its flagship Voyager Solutions to further address the special requirements of the service parts industry, adding improved forecasting techniques and reverse logistics planning capabilities, among other upgrades.

As competitive pressures push more products to a commodity-like business model, many manufacturing companies rely on customer service to retain or establish a competitive advantage. Logility says its Voyager Solutions help aftermarket manufacturers and service providers optimize market planning, inventory investments, global sourcing and distribution center management to improve service levels while lowering costs.

Specific requirements for service parts planning, according to Logility, include gaining visibility of future customer demand; dynamically managing time-phased inventory and replenishment requirements; and optimizing distribution and inventory deployment to cost effectively service customers.

Recent service parts enhancements to the Voyager Solutions suite include beefed up forecasting techniques for normal, seasonal, short-lifecycle, intermittent demand, end-of-life purchases (all time buys), and reverse logistics planning. Streamlining the reverse logistics process is critical for companies that manage high value, service exchange units from return to refurbishment to re-sale.

Logility said it also provides a method to forecast returns and conduct make/buy analysis, which can help companies synchronize their inventory investments with service-level goals and accelerate the receipt of returned goods into inventory.

Additional key functionality in the solutions includes proactive performance management and alert notification of key exceptions; multi-echelon, cross-organizational planning; forecasting a large number of stock keeping units (SKUs); low-level demand and pattern seeking models; returns forecasting and repair planning; and lifecycle planning to streamline new product introduction and retirement.

Other functionality includes dynamic product supercession or revisions; vendor-managed inventory (VMI) and co-managed inventory (CMI); multi-dimensional stock policies optimize both fast and slow-moving parts; demand aggregation across multiple locations; and automate inter-dependent centralized and local warehouses.

Logility estimates that manufacturers, distributors and utility companies worldwide are using the software provider's supply chain planning, warehouse and transportation management solutions to manage $53 billion in service parts revenue and optimize inventory investments valued at $8 billion. In all, the solution provider said that more than 40 companies currently use its collaborative demand planning, inventory and replenishment planning, and transportation and warehouse management solutions to manage service parts inventory.

Carl Flatley, director of supply chain and inventory management for Delco Remy's Electrical Aftermarket Division, a Logility customer, said that his company chose Logility to improve overall forecast accuracy and integrate reverse logistics forecasting into the optimization of inventory across its global supply network. "We've completed the initial phase of the implementation in less than six months with solid results," Flatley said.

Ed Streeter, senior vice president for global supply chain at imaging supplies company Katun Corporation, another Logility customer, said that the provider's solutions have enabled Katun to categorize inventory investments based on margin contribution within specific global markets, as well as to gain visibility to demand in volatile markets. "We can now synchronize demand forecasts with manufacturing and marketing initiatives, boosting our 'perfect order' performance," said Streeter.

Logility said that manufacturers such as automotive and electronics companies that manage aftermarket service parts inventories or businesses that provide services, such as telecommunication or utility companies, can use the provider's solutions to formulate and revise plans based on the real-time status of demand and inventory across their global supply chains. They can then use that information to manage product lifecycles, improve response times, increase collaboration with customers and suppliers, reduce expediting costs, boost inventory turns and eliminate stock outs, Logility asserts.

"Service parts providers need to improve customer service and increase profitability through better service parts management for both complex distribution channels and direct sales to customers," said Mike Edenfield, Logility president and CEO. "Logility helps companies more accurately predict future demand and make optimal inventory investment decisions to support centralized, regional or mobile inventory practices for improved on-time delivery, higher first-time fill rates and enhanced customer loyalty."

A new survey being conducted by Aberdeen Group, in conjunction with Supply & Demand Chain Executive magazine, is set to give supply and demand chain leaders a look at current trends and best practices in field services management. Participate in the survey here by June 23 and qualify to win a Palm personal digital assistant (PDA).

For more information on solutions for the service and support chain, see the articles "In the Field and All Grown Up," the Net Best Thing column in the June/July 2002 issue of iSource Business, and "Time to Prove It," the Net Best Thing column in the April/May 2003 issue of iSource Business.